Earlier this week I went to an AGDAWA event at which I saw Barcelona graphic design studio, Hey Studio give a talk on their work and processes. I find it really nice to occasionally get away from the digital world and dive into the print world, where everything is tactile and ideas aren’t limited by light, pixels and processing power.
I’ll have to be honest in saying I didn’t exactly learn anything new from the talk but in all fairness, I don’t think that was entirely the point of the talk. Instead, I came away feeling inspired to create something with my hands.
Hey Studio showed us a number of examples from their various projects that included punching holes through business cards and labels to create an “munching” or “nibbling” look for a moorish jam brand; burning and laser cutting materials through a branding process to reflect the heat and unpredictability used in glass artistry; and cutting hundreds of ribbons just to achieve the exact hand-crafted effect they had in mind. When I left the event I wanted to go home and draw. If time had of been on my side, I would have created the table I’ve wanted to make for so long. It was late so I did neither, but the intent was definitely there and it was definitely strong. Talks that have that effect on you are powerful.
A few days later, a disappointing observation (no doubt a result of the talk), was that despite my urge to use my hands it’s a real shame that I have, so far, lost much of the hands on quality that print both cultivates and benefits from, simply by transitioning to the digital medium. This is no fault of anyone’s but mine. Sometimes I catch myself surprised by the act of handwriting and instead of writing in a way that would justify my grade-four pen license, I just haphazardly start scrawling what vaguely looks like letters. Soon after I usually realise just how much I must rely on technology if my hand skills have started to wane so dramatically.
There has to be a way that equall brings together print and digital techniques. I just don’t know what yet.
Make something with your hands. Be tactile. Look beyond your chosen field, your chosen environment, your chosen life etc . Inspiration is everywhere.